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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Trending...

Antique dealers are always trying to detect the latest trends in collecting so that they can concentrate their efforts and finances on inventory that will be of interest to their customers. There are several ways to research what is currently trending.

Global events are a definite driving force. The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and the appointment of a new pontiff, Pope Francis I, to head the Catholic Church, has created an interest in religious goods. Medals, figurines, and prints of St. Francis of Assisi have immediately been sought after in antique malls. At the Spring Antique Mall a couple of customers were wearing charm necklaces consisting of religious medals and crosses that they had made themselves.

Popular shows like the Antique Pickers, has been a driving force in the home d├ęcor market. Whether to decorate the man cave or a pub, vintage signs in particular, have been highly collectible since the television show began. Beer and brewery signs are especially popular, but so are defunct oil company signs like Amoco and Philips Petroleum Company. Even the world’s leading energy company, ExxonMobil, has a large following of collectors. The company’s early to mid-1900 logos and acronyms…Humble Oil & Refining Company, ESSO, and ENCO, have spiked at the Spring Antique Mall, more than likely to the due to the corporation’s plans to relocate in Spring, Texas, in the spring of 2014. Their new ExxonMobil campus is just one mile north of the mall.

Holiday collectibles usually show an upward trend, Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day, not so much, however, Easter collectibles like hand-painted eggs, vintage paper mache eggs and rabbits, have been selling. Why do some holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and Easter, out-sell the others? Typically those holidays when entertaining will take place, will result in the sales of merchandise…i.e. Christmas parties, Halloween costume parties, family reunions in the spring at Easter. Antique dealers might focus on these events and not so much on the others.

The trend of ‘retro-cycling,’ a term coined this writer, is used describe the reinvention of antiques and collectibles into a different use, other than originally intended, continues to grow. This has opened up a large new market for antique dealers, who previously could only rely on the discriminating collector. Customers are on the hunt for unique items they can reinvent for their home environments. This market is so large that dealers are even going to the extra effort and expense to do the ‘retro-cycling’ in order to move the inventory more quickly.

Future trends are the hardest to predict. The west coast trend of mid-century furniture and home decor (mid-1950s) moved east a couple of years ago and remains popular in area antique shops. As mentioned in the February issue of Antique & Collector’s Guide, the popularity of the period program, Downton Abbey, has created a demand for fashions and furnishings of the early 1900s. Now that the program has evolved to the 1930s, a trend to the Art Deco aesthetic could be the next popular market.

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